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The Experience Formula

The 30 Day Challenge: Two Case Studies on Doing Challenges to Build Your Tribe & Spark Engagement

I got the idea of doing our first Challenge — the 30-Day Video Challenge — as a lead in to our first Summit, the Video Superhero Summit. I thought it would be a great way to engage my tribe around video and build interest in the Summit, but I never imagined it would create so much buzz.

I had never done anything like the Challenge before and my top blog posts were maxing out at around 50-70 likes and a couple dozen comments. None of them really took off and went viral… until the 30 Day Video Challenge.

Photo by Unsplash

This one post got 497 likes, 98 tweets, and 309 comments. But most importantly over 300 people actually chose to join the 30 Day Video Challenge Facebook group and commit to filming themselves once a day for 30 days and posting their videos to the group each day.

But now here’s where it starts to get crazy.

Out of those 300 people who began filming themselves on a daily basis, 40 of them were so motivated that they actually followed through on their commitment of doing it every day for 30 days. That means 260 people dropped out during the challenge at some point. We didn’t measure where each person dropped off, but for the sake of simplicity, we’re going to say that 130 people got halfway.

I’m not going to go into the crazy math here, but assuming each person spent 45 minutes making their video, here’s the bottom line.

It all works out to 170 people spending 141,750 minutes on this over the course of their challenge. That means I was able to inspire 2,362 hours of energy, effort and activity with a single Challenge.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how exceptional this is?

But, yes, it gets even better than that…

The people who participated in the 30-Day Video Challenge experienced such a profound level of growth and community by sharing themselves for 30 days, as well as witnessing me share myself vulnerably for 30 days, that they’ve become my most raving fans and my best customers.

Many of them enrolled in my programs and attended my live event and one of these participants ended up investing almost $30K in my done-for-you services and he mentioned the Challenge is the big reason why he choose to work with me.

He told me, “Rarely do you get to experience someone for 30 days before choosing to work with them. I feel like I know you and you’ll do good by me.”

So not only did this Challenge bring me new students and business, it brought a huge amount of good will and connection with my tribe. 5 of my students got together to give me a gift and a note that really touched my heart. They wrote:

Dear Marisa,

We want to begin by telling you how much you’ve changed our lives. You have given us a space to embody our true selves. You inspire us! 🙂

You’ve made it possible for us to meet and make friendships that are stronger than some of the ones we’ve had our whole lives.

Thank you for being you, and for showing up as your true self.

We love you!!

That’s amazing isn’t it! They Challenge brought them all together and allowed them to form deep friendships that have continued to endure well beyond the challenge. They call the group they’ve formed “The Family”.

Can you imagine having that impact on your tribe?

Well, it’s easier than you think.

All you have to do is create your own 30 Day Challenge.

A lot of people are holding challenges these days because they work. Regardless of your industry, you can create a challenge that builds community around what you do just like Jadah Sellner and her partner Jen Hansard of Simple Green Smoothies.

At first Jen and Jadah experimented with an opt-in gift that converted pretty well. It was a free green smoothie crash course PDF. But once they hit on the idea of a free 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge, the results were exponential.

In just 14 months, they’ve grown their email list to over 200K with no paid advertising or affiliate promotions. Sure, they’ve awesome at leveraging Facebook and Instagram, but what they’ve really done is master the art of community building and engagement.

Once they realized just how powerful the Challenge was, they decided to rinse and repeat 4 times a year. This repetition has allowed them to fine-tune and almost automate the Challenges — while still sharing themselves in a vulnerable way and creating a lead magnet that everybody knows about.

Because the Challenges happen 4 times a year, they’re really easy to share. It’s not like once someone has gone through their 30 days, it’s over. If they’ve had a phenomenal experience, they can do it again or share it with their friends. And, because it’s free, it makes it super easy to share without any questions about — Are you trying to sell me something? Or what do you get out of this? Or are you a network marketer?

When the Challenges took off, Jen and Jadah thought about charging for them, but realized that this is where they build trust and relationships, so they’ve continued to offer their quarterly challenges complete free of charge. As a result, their community continues to grow like wildfire… and every 3 months they build relationships with a whole new set of leads and warm them up for their core offer: a paid 21-Day Cleanse.

The only thing I can think of that The Simple Green Smoothies team could do to improve their Challenges are to quickly turn their participants into buyers by offering a low-cost high-value product that makes the Challenge more effective — such as a blender or smoothie supplements or protein powders. If people opt-in then immediately buy something, they’re much more likely to buy later then if they get everything for free from the start.

So, my question to you is, how can you leverage this powerful strategy to build your tribe and spark massive engagement?

Let us know in the comments what Challenge ideas you have for your business.

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Virginia Wills Avatar
    Virginia Wills

    I could click like for Google+ but not Facebook. I will not use Facebook any more after they censured me for clicking “Like” too many times after I had worked a 16 hour shift.

    1. Marisa Avatar

      Wow Virginia! I’ve never heard of being censured by Facebook for liking too many things…

  2. Karen Avatar

    Hi Marissa,

    This sounds really exciting to me, I could feel it when I was reading your post about it!

    Ideas, hummm, the first one that comes to mind is a “write about your love relationships for 15 minutes a day for 30 days” challenge.

    I would suggest ideas on what to write about each day and at the end of the 30 days, they would have a very good love relationship history that would help them to process unfinished business, and to clear away the past to make way for better relationships now.

    Something like this anyway. I do western-friendly Vedic astrology and would provide astrological frameworks (for Venus, Jupiter, Moon, the main relationship planets) within which to contain their writing, or as a way to approach the writing.

    Mars is going to be in Libra for 7 months this year, so maybe I could focus on that aspect of relationships.

    Mars is the problem-solver, the justice seeker, the logical, idealistic planet who rules our ability to defend, assert, and exert ourselves in our relationships.

    The writing could be on how that part of them did or didn’t work in past relationships as a way to let go of the past, and to get clear on what needs to be developed now to make this aspect of relationships work better.

    This may be too complicated of a concept for the 30 day challenge format, but I’ll think about to see if something more suitable comes to me.

    Thanks, Marissa!

    1. Marisa Avatar

      Awesome Karen! I think you have the seed of a great idea there…. and perhaps it’s something you could launch around Valentine’s Day! Create a 30 Day Love Challenge. 🙂 Let me know how it goes…

  3. Naomi Colb Avatar
    Naomi Colb

    Marissa, I think you just gave me the biggest gift! I have been struggling with “Who is my Avatar client” and “How can I build a targeted list for a high end retreat in Costa Rica” My women´s online masterminds have been hugely successful with small groups of 5 women who formed lifelong friendships, helped each other during the week with tech and marketing skills and shared their wisdom and resources in a secret Facebook Group dedicated to their mastermind. I was urgently looking for a way to preserve the intimacy of the call and include ALOT of people! Now, I finally noticed that I attract women moving into professional speaking! I will host a 30 day free video challenge for WOMEN MOVING INTO PROFESSIONAL SPEAKING! and host a luxurious Sensuality and Self-care retreat in Costa Rica for 10 of those women who complete the challenge. I will have that be a prerequisite and mention that all the way through the 30 days:) I am on Fire!!! Thanks!

    1. Marisa Avatar

      Great to hear from you again Naomi! I love the idea of a 30 Day Speaker Challenge — where perhaps the exercise is to do something every day to further your speaking career…. such as reaching out for new gigs or simply speaking your message. Nice!

      BTW, my dad’s wife is from Costa Rica and live there 6-months a year so I usually visit once a year… are you based there now?

  4. Chris Lefebvre Avatar
    Chris Lefebvre

    Marisa, have you seen challenges work well on a customer avatar comprised of woman over 60 years old? This would be in a nutrition niche.

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